March 2, 2012

"The elderly, who have traditionally relied on spouses for their care, will increasingly struggle to fend for themselves."

"And federal and local governments will have to shoulder much of the cost of their care. Unmarried baby boomers are five times more likely to live in poverty than their married counterparts, statistics show. They are also three times as likely to receive food stamps, public assistance or disability payments."

That dreary paragraph is the real story in a NYT article that starts out looking like a lifestyle piece about feisty, trendsetting women.

Sha la la la la la la live for today... sang the Baby Boomers, who continue to live, and you're being warned to get ready to come up with the programs they're going to need to maintain themselves as the consequences of failing to make provisions for the future accumulate. Women and their needs... you're supposed to understand that is what government is for.

75 comments:

jimbino said...

This is no joke.

I get $1050 per month in Social Security. I have a principal residence worth many hundreds of thousands and a car worth less than $15000.

With income up to 150% of poverty level in Texas (some $18000+) I qualify for $200/month in food stamps, free cellphone with 200 minutes and gummint payment of my Medicare premium of some $140 per month.

I would be real stupid to turn my principal residence into an annuity, since that would take me off the gummint tit.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that this is going to be a big problem. Both, that a lot of singles are going into retirement, and that a lot of them are childless.

But, the problem for the rest of society is that they feel entitled, will be a very large voting block, and I think will be more than willing to demand from the rest of the country that they be taken care of. Oh, and a lot of their 401(k)s imploded, along with their housing equity.

Quayle said...

The richest generation in the history of the planet, and they were so intellectually and morally screwed up that they still couldn't live within their means.

jimbino said...

A retired old guy like me could easily find a young woman (from Honduras, Haiti, Ecuador, even Brazil) who would love to marry me, take care of me, gain Amerikan citizenship and partake in my social security benefits!

Worse off are Amerikan women, who, being more numerous, don't have the same options, unless they are Cougars with lots of money seeking to buy companionship.

Jason said...

And people wonder why the country is broke.

In typical US government fashion, nothing will be done about reforming our entitlements until its too late.

And then the Republicans will get blamed.

Milwaukee said...

Haven't we observed before that unwed mothers were the second largest group voting for 0bama, after Blacks? That Phyllis Schaffley's observation is that now that women have got the government to take care of them the way their men once did, they don't need men as husbands.

Does this mean that the Social Security system has undermined families, by making parents believe the government will take care of them, and so they don't need children to do that?

Keystone said...

It is precisely because government meets women's needs that men have become redundant.

traditionalguy said...

Two pensions are better than one.

A true aphorism is that an older woman will be good to her man.

chickenlittle said...

@Milwaukee: If you want to go back in time, Hugh Hefner may deserves some blame for encouraging the common man to believe that he's entitled to serial bunnies.

edutcher said...

The real social security was always families.

And the Dems' version was always a scam.

As The Blonde always says, nurse or purse. Many of these people will have neither.

Milwaukee said...

Haven't we observed before that unwed mothers were the second largest group voting for 0bama, after Blacks? That Phyllis Schaffley's observation is that now that women have got the government to take care of them the way their men once did, they don't need men as husbands.

Does this mean that the Social Security system has undermined families, by making parents believe the government will take care of them, and so they don't need children to do that?


The Republicans have tried to say that for 80 years.

Now they'll be proven right.

Larry J said...

They've "lived for the day" trying to "have it all", only to reach retirement age broke. Gee, what a surprise.

NYT: Reality: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

"The elderly, who have traditionally relied on spouses for their care, will increasingly struggle to fend for themselves."

Specially difficult.. when they'll have to choose between contraception and food.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
m stone said...

Looks like jimbino is working the system.

Maguro said...

Looks like jimbino is working the system.

Yeah, but he spells America with a "k", so he's, like, standing up to The Man or something.

malthust said...

Finally, a point we can agree on- the baby boom generation was an objective failure on all kinds of levels.

Now if we can just clean up the aftermath of their binge-debt consumerism, disfunctional politics, and deep cultural vulgarity we can make some profoundly well deserved room in the dustbin of history.

Penny said...

The old, frail and alone are precisely the group that most needs some sort of safety net...assuming we have any empathy as a nation.

The snake swallowed the elephant over sixty years ago, and no one in government had the foresight to plan for the resulting demographics?

Kit said...

Just put us on an ice flow, already.

Jaske said...

Once upon a time, a special time, future thought stopped, until...

PatCA said...

But most women survive their husbands, don't they? I think people will begin living together like they did as hippies in college.

It's hard to talk on a macro level about an entire cohort. Of course, since we're Boomers, we will analyze this issue to death and life will then sort itself out.

Or in a few years Sandra Fluke can speak for us in Congress and demand they take care of us because we're womyn, dammnit, and we want it!

malthust said...

@Kit- We can't. You melted them o_O

Methadras said...

This is what leftism has wrought. That they destroyed the family structure doesn't help.

MisterBuddwing said...

I recall reading an online article not too long ago about places in the world where an expatriate American can live quite comfortably on just a monthly Social Security check.

Panama, here I come.

Rialby said...

What do you think will happen when Gen X - who is for the most part still unaware that Social Security will be gonzo - wakes up to discover that THEY have not saved enough money. Chances are it's going to happen in the next 10 years, long before they can retire. Do you think they'll take it sitting down? Nobody has saved enough money to live without SS. Check out these numbers:

Table 2: Average 401(k) and 403(b) Account Balance by Age Bracket, Year-End 2009
Under age 25: $3,908
Age 25–34: $17,453
Age 35–44: $43,765
Age 45–54: $85,799
Age 55–64: $124,472
Age 65 and up: $148,959

Deekaman said...

Apparently, then a fish DOES need a bicycle.

LilyBart said...

Finally, a point we can agree on- the baby boom generation was an objective failure on all kinds of levels.

Its just ashamed that they won't have to suffer the consequences of their own selfishness. Unfortunatley, they are passing most of the 'consequences' on to their children and grandchildrens.

America;s 'greatest generation' had the kids that will destroy the nation. What irony.

William said...

Unless they sign a suicide pact, fifty percent of all elderly married couples will die alone.

wildswan said...

One thing that must happen - people must be allowed to work beyond 65. Right now people think you are going to have a heart attack or something if you are over 60. They have to introduce quotas or something so that people CAN work after they are sixty.
Another thing also must happen - people on Social Security who have enough to live on must be allowed to volunteer to keep civic units like libraries going. The unions don't allow this right now.
These are the real kinds of changes we need.

madAsHell said...

I always thought that I had children to make my parents happy.

....and now I understand the truth.

I have a social security plan that the government cannot taint.

Of course, I might have to pay my kids to come around, but it beats paying a stranger.

I live 8 blocks away from my mother. I visit her every night. She takes care of my dog during the day.

Oh, yeah....She bribes me with REALLY good wine.

Fr Martin Fox said...

There's always "post-birth" abortion. That is, post-post-post..."

That'll solve so many problems won't it?

somefeller said...

wildswan says:One thing that must happen - people must be allowed to work beyond 65.

Unless one works in an office that has mandatory retirement at 65, people are allowed to do work beyond 65. Whether or not employers want to hire or retain employees past that age is another question.

Another thing also must happen - people on Social Security who have enough to live on must be allowed to volunteer to keep civic units like libraries going. The unions don't allow this right now.

Can you provide some examples (with links) of unions preventing volunteer work for libraries or other civic organizations? I'm not a huge union supporter but I haven't seen that sort of prevention occur. But yes, voluntarism is a good thing for the elderly, or anyone else for that matter.

Tim said...

The article said...

"It makes me very sad," said Ms. Stillman, who has several friends who have recently divorced. "Maybe as a society we don’t fight hard enough to stay together anymore."

This is exactly right.

It isn't her fault, or her ex-husband's fault, that her marriage blew up - it's society's fault that "...we don’t fight hard enough to stay together anymore."

When your generation (mine too) is all about you, your needs, and your wants, what the f^ck did you think would happen?

If it's all about you, in the end, that's all you'll have - you, alone.

Tim said...

"Can you provide some examples (with links) of unions preventing volunteer work for libraries or other civic organizations?"

It happens. Many CBAs with public employee unions prohibit volunteers from performing services that are currently performed for pay by union labor. This is especially problematic at public schools, where parents are often prohibited from doing school beautification or improvement projects, like fixing up baseball fields, etc. As for citations, they're difficult to find - the provisions are buried in contracts, and neither the public employer or public employee union like to discuss them, for the obvious reason of shame for such absurd feather-bedding.

somefeller said...

It happens. Many CBAs with public employee unions prohibit volunteers from performing services that are currently performed for pay by union labor.

Well, if that happens, that's pretty foul. I haven't seen any evidence of that but that may be a matter of where I live. But even in places where that's happening, there are plenty of places to volunteer that aren't government entities or subject to public employee union rules. If someone wants to volunteer their time, there's always a place that can use them.

n.n said...

They rejected the imperatives of the natural order, the good judgment that underlies self-moderating behavior, and will likely seek the comfort of politicians trawling for votes. With their rejection, coupled with their demand for progressive involuntary exploitation (i.e. redistributive change), they have also rejected their and every other person's dignity.

A safety net is arguably a valuable feature to preserve the coherence of a dynamically stable society. The progressive variant characterized by redistributive and retributive change are antithetical to that stability in that they are principal sponsors of progressive corruption.

Alan said...

Sha la la la la la la live for today...

We also sang "In The Year 2525," when the apocalypse seemed so distant...

I'm going back to the Wisteria Cafe where it's safe.

John Lynch said...

Oh look, another reason why divorce is a bad idea. Not only do you end up alone and poor, but your kids are less likely to give a damn.

Synergy!

Pogo said...

I wrote an article about this issue about 10 years ago, and the editor of the famous medical journal said I was unethical and reprehensible for describing this inevitable outcome.

It was rejected for publication.

Chuck66 said...

There are some deep thinkers out there (Dennis Prager for example) who talk about the long term ramafications of major societal changes. Secularization of America. End of marriage. Changing the definition of marriage.

What will happen 20, 40, 75 years down the road due to these changes.

Chuck66 said...

"Can you provide some examples (with links) of unions preventing volunteer work for libraries or other civic organizations?"

Duluth Minnesota. Public schools stadium in West Duluth was falling apart. No money to repair it. So a group of students and their parents got companies to donate paint. Then those students and adults volunteered to repair and paint the stadium. Unions threw a fit, saying that should be paid union work (even though there was no money to do the job).

AJ Lynch said...

Chuck66:

I am hoping the pendulum will swing back and annilihate most of the dumb ideas and trends that we boomers spawned.

Rick said...

Kit at 8:34
In 1954 I saw a "short subject" at an army theatre in Japan, in the 4th grade, about Eskimos. I remembered two items from that:
First, as a matter of courtesy husbands allowed any traveler who came by the remote igloo to sleep with their wives. At that age, back then, I did not realize just how courteous that was.
Second, when the old woman became too old to contribute she would go out on an ice flow at night, in the freezing snow, and go to sleep, with the expectation that a polar bear would take care of things.

Popville said...

Wait! The Grass Roots also sang I'd Wait A Million Years, so don't sell them short! Plus this creation of songwriter extraordinaire P.F. Sloan and Steve Bari gave almost 50 musicians a job over the band's lifespan (which continues as I type). Sadly lead singer Rob Grill passed on in July of last year, but I'm sure some able journeyman has already stepped up to wail of Midnight Confessions. If all this doesn't prove their commitment to the Long Now, nothing does.

traditionalguy said...

The good part of religion is being part of a family of other believers of various ages that you can join and meet with several times a week. Over the years they become a valuable social support among safe people.

Scripture speaks of Christians being supplied nourishment by the joints between ourselves and other members of the Body of Christ. Surprisingly, it often works that way. Loneliness need not be anyone's fate.

Duncan said...

Here's the link among this article, the Murray book on fornication among the white working class, and recent testimony on fornication among wealthy law students in America's most sexualized city (DC acording to cheaters website Ashley Madison).

These social problems can be addressed by new/social media being deployed to discourage fornication. Rush may be ahead of his time there. Also, since (apparently) today's fornicators claim to be price sensitive, perhaps a tax on singlehood and divorce (to compensate for the social cost shifting involved) is warranted.

Popville said...

Quayle said:

The richest generation in the history of the planet, and they were so intellectually and morally screwed up that they still couldn't live within their means.

Wow, can we condense this to a bumper sticker? Very well said Sir Quayle.

bagoh20 said...

Decades of argument, warnings, pleas, and attempts at reform by conservatives resulted in nothing but a slow continuous "progress" for the left. Time will eventually teach the unforgiving truth that the right never quite could.

Don said...

Kind of odd reading this after the Fluke post taking Limbaugh to task for not being appropriately deferential to the young lady claiming that she can't possibly be expected to procure birth control at her own expense. "Women and their needs... you're supposed to understand that is what government is for." Do men treat women like they would each other or not?

rhhardin said...

Nobody's lonely, with the internet.

lemondog said...

The richest generation in the history of the planet, and they were so intellectually and morally screwed up that they still couldn't live within their means.

@$14 trillion debt (not including unfunded liabilities), government has been an excellent role model.

....you have kids?!

David said...

Here was my solution. I got married again at age 62, having been single for 10 years after the death of my previous wife. Don't want to be alone? Find a partner.

Tank said...

malthust said...

Finally, a point we can agree on- the baby boom generation was an objective failure on all kinds of levels.

Now if we can just clean up the aftermath of their binge-debt consumerism, disfunctional politics, and deep cultural vulgarity we can make some profoundly well deserved room in the dustbin of history.


Um, good luck with that.

Doom.

DEAD COUNTRY WALKING.

Hagar said...

What John Lynch said.

And of course, it could be even worse if they decide they must help you, whether you want them to or not.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here was my solution. I got married again at age 62, having been single for 10 years after the death of my previous wife. Don't want to be alone? Find a partner.

Not quite there yet, but coming up fast. Working on it, but the women close to my age aren't as good looking any more as those a bit younger, and I haven't yet accepted that I am over 60 yet.

Still, as a guy, there seem to be a lot more good prospects out there than when I was younger, which implies to me that the women of my generation (early to mid baby boomers) are realizing that they cannot be that picky any more.

But most women survive their husbands, don't they? I think people will begin living together like they did as hippies in college.

I think that there is something like that. I know one woman I talk to a lot who would be more likely to go for that than marriage - we would lose too much social security together, plus probably pay higher income taxes.

For those reasons, plus, the problems of kids and grandkids, I would not be surprised to see a large number of domestic partnerships formed in states that allow them between straight couples of my generation.

Rusty said...

One thing that must happen - people must be allowed to work beyond 65.




Like I got a fucking choice?
Thanks. Generous of you.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are some deep thinkers out there (Dennis Prager for example) who talk about the long term ramifications of major societal changes. Secularization of America. End of marriage. Changing the definition of marriage.

Not sure if I totally agree with the secularization. I think that the trend may be cyclical, esp. since religion often seems to offer better answers in harder times. And, we see with the Obama regime some of what happens when this country moves too far in that direction.

But, I do wonder if the "Roe Effect" is accelerating. The less religious of the millenials and gen-y seem to be avoiding marriage and many of adult responsibilities at an increasing rate. Yet, there seems little reduction in child bearing in Mormons, some Evangelicals, and the more traditionally Roman Catholic Hispanics. What they all have in common is that religion is a much bigger part of their lives. Not only do they have more kids, they also start younger, which means more generations.

I do think that the definition of marriage has to change, since implicit in the traditional definition was a lifetime commitment. Sure, a lot of people mouth the words "until death do us part", but many fewer seem to really believe them, due to the easy availability of divorce, and that many women these days no longer need husbands for support, but can rely on ex-husbands and the state for support.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

somefeller,

I remember a controversy in CA about volunteers who were improving trails, &c. in state parks, but had to stop because a union insisted that this was rightfully paid work for its own members.

I can't find a link to that, but there is this, about a similar tussle between volunteers and the City of Sacramento re: one city park.

rcommal said...

What's the source of this table? I'm not challenging it, I'm interested in it.

Devin Fidler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildswan said...

"People can always find a place to volunteer that will use them"

I guess I didn't explain my point very well. When I say people must be allowed to volunteer to do work for civic units what I meant was that when a library, a police dispatching station, a park is going to be shut down for budgetary reasons then people on Social Security MUST be allowed to volunteer at these places. They are getting money from the government, they have often worked at the places to be closed before they retired but they are not allowed to be part of the solution to a budgetary crisis. And that is due to the public sector unions. And as a result people who could be of use and want to be of use are sidelined and discussed as a budgetary burden. That burden is real but it is the fault of towns, counties and cities not using volunteers. It isn't just the unions but it is the unions which make the difficulty unsolvable.

wildswan said...

Rusty I missed your comment. You say you have no choice but to work after sixty.

But my point is that you won't be allowed to work much past sixty under current conditions. People just find reasons not to hire or to lay off older people. Yet Social Security requires you to work till sixty-seven to get your full benefit. This has to be fixed because the age you retire at makes a difference of up to 25 % in what you get from Social Security

Rusty said...

Wildswan.

I'm already working. I'm fortunate that even at my advanced age,(60) my skill set is in high demand right now.
I have had no illusions in my working life that SS would be there to provide for me in my later life so I pretty much resigned myself to doing something after 65-66 to make ends meet.
Many of my generation aren't going to be as fortunate.

wildswan said...

"my skill set is in high demand right now... Many of my generation aren't going to be as fortunate."

Rusty,
I've been fortunate also in another way but it's the people who aren't going to be lucky that bother me. Older people shouldn't be a social problem when they are ready to work; and can work at least part time for about ten years longer than people think; and they are being paid by the government already; and there is work to be done in the sense that government services are being cut back. They should be allowed to volunteer to fill those gaps. That is society being stuck in the old model, not a problem caused by selfish older people.
It is not good to be seen as social problem. "We" becomes "they" and "they" do something about it, ie, about me.

Unknown said...

How about the married, childless boomers? My sister will have money to carry her through her childless times - until inflation makes that worthless. I have a couple of children that might help me, if I raised them right...

Captcha - clue - they're not words. Not in my world.

kmg said...

Most women don't realize that if they frivolously divorce for short-term profit, then alimony ends when the husband dies.

And since the husband is living off 20% of his pre-tax income, he has every incentive to live it up and die sooner rather than later. What else would you do if locked into alimony?

kmg said...

70-80% of all government spending is a transfer from men to women, btw.

Thankfully, a new generation of men are deciding to be Tucker Max types rather than working stiffs.

The costs of feminism will finally come back to the women who lived high on the hog too long.

A society where a large number of women are either 'single mothers' or 'cougars', is a society near the fiscal cliff.

kmg said...

Milwaukee,

Does this mean that the Social Security system has undermined families, by making parents believe the government will take care of them, and so they don't need children to do that?

Read 'The Misandry Bubble' for more.

Andy Freeman said...

> The Republicans have tried to say that for 80 years.

Actually, congressional Repubs voted overwhelmingly for SS at the beginning. SS was established in 1935 with a house vote of 372 (77-R, 288D, 7-I) to 33 (18-R, 13-D, 2-I) and a senate vote of 77 (15-R, 60-D, 2-1) to 6 (5-R, 1-D).

See http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/crsleghist3.html .

pst314 said...

"Can you provide some examples (with links) of unions preventing volunteer work for libraries or other civic organizations?"

A few years ago there was a news item about a city budget crisis leading to staff cutbacks, and the volunteers who went out to keep the parks clean anyway. There was video footage of angry union goons threatening the volunteers and throwing the collected trash back on the grass.

wildswan said...

"Can you provide some examples of unions opposing volunteerism in a economic crisis"

Here are some links:

PETE PETERSON
No Volunteers, Please, We’re Unionized
Public-sector employees vs. parents in Petaluma, California
30 November 2010
http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon1130pp.html

January 2011
The Choice of the Citizen: Pay Taxes, Do Without, or Volunteer
By Susan J. Ellis
http://www.energizeinc.com/hot/2011/11jan.html

Will Congress Kill Volunteer Fire Departments?
by Robert B. Bluey06/29/2010
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37738
"Under the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, also known as PSEECA, the International Association for Fire Fighters stands to gain. The union, which represents career firefighters, strongly opposes volunteers and prohibits its members from belonging to volunteer departments, even when they're not on duty."

Steve Kellmeyer said...

This is not a problem.

Unmarried indigent old people will be euthanized.

And who will stop it?
Who will even know it happens?

No one will care.
The docs just keep upping the morphine "to make them comfortable" and pretty soon they have reduced lung function, pneumonia, and death.

Very simple, impossible to pin on anyone.

pst314 said...

Wildswam: Good for you. One of the nice things about the net is that someone will remember the cites...or even have saved the links.

susan said...

Demonization of those born after WWII is big business. Such resentment is institutionalized in some laws in Europe, ie groups contending "generational" discrimination, in which younger people are said to be victimized by seniors using up environment that rightly should go to the young. In the US it's important because the 55+ group is very large and largely white. This group must leave to give rightful ownership of the culture to other groups-who are thought to be better in some way. Tom Brokaw has said young people are less racist than older ones. The global warming industry believes older people are a big problem, they don't buy into AGW as do the young. I did not party, never flipped real estate, always lived beneath my means. I was born in 1948. Everything would have been fine if George Bush hadn't sold out the country with the sub prime scam and destruction of the housing market, then Obama and Bernanke keeping interest rates at zero on savings accounts. The modest amount of income on savings accounts was not greed, but for many years was the difference between eating and not eating for seniors. By the way, both my parents are still alive, grew up in the depression, always lived beneath their means. None of us think younger people owe us something. It's the Occupy people who do that.

FrancisChalk said...

The Baby Boomer Left has foisted massive amounts of socialist ideology into every aspect of our society over the last 80 years. Today, generations X and Y have taken up the torch of Marx and his views with Obama as their standard bearer. As a conservative American I have had to suffer the consequences of this leftist tidal wave. Part of that socialist transformation of America was the Welfare State with Social Security and Medicare a its core. As I approach retirement I now say "you wanted socialism, you got it, now pay me my full SS and Medicare." I may even vote Democrat to truly teach the Left a lesson.